a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
is capped with a curved bony eminence,
the olecranon. There the elbow
becomes a lever for the extensor muscles.
The prominent lip holds the humerus,
its companion bone. A third bone,
the radius, stretches from elbow to wrist.
A fibrous joint capsule surrounds the bones
in a synovial hinge like a cocoon.
The combination of a hinge with a ball-and-socket
gives the elbow its prowess:
flexion, extension, pronation, supination.
It’s really quite sentimental.
The elbow opens like a door, builds
a plinth for an altar where the ruins
will reassemble into prayer.
It is teaching us how to connect:
not a diminishing but a bundling.
A cup here; a path there;
a broken lock waiting
breathless for its healing key.
Kim Roberts is the author of A Literary Guide to Washington, DC: Walking in the Footsteps of American Writers from Francis Scott Key to Zora Neale Hurston (University of Virginia Press, 2018), and five books of poems, most recently The Scientific Method (WordTech Editions, 2017). She co-edits the journal Beltway Poetry Quarterly and the web exhibit DC Writers’ Homes. Roberts has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, HumanitiesDC, and the DC Commission on the Arts, and has been a writer-in-residence at 18 artist colonies. Poems of hers have been featured in the Wick Poetry Center’s Traveling Stanzas Project, on the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day Project, and on podcasts sponsored by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Arts.